The American Museum in Britain – From Florida to Bath

Hernando de Soto (c1496-1542) Spanish explorer and his men torturing natives of Florida in his determination to find gold. Hand-coloured engraving. John Judkyn Memorial Collection, Freshford Manor, Bath

The print above depicts Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his band of conquistadors torturing Florida natives in order to extract information on where one might find gold on the peninsula.  The print is one of many in a collection of prints that belonged to John Judkyn, a Briton who was a noted antiques dealer, collector, and conservator.   I discovered this print on the website for The American Museum in Bath, a British museum that Judkyn helped found and where his life-long collection is housed.

I must admit unfamiliarity with this scene as most American history books, particularly those written to “educate” American school children, tend to avoid such revelations of historical barbarity and cruelty.  In fact, most books and articles written about Hernando de Soto fail to discuss such incidents at all.  I’m sure this is quite agreeable with the State of Florida as de Sota’s tale is woven into the local lore in a manner designed to promote tourism.

De Soto’s “route” of exploration has been exploited by several states to include Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas as a means of attracting tourists. The U.S. government also paid tribute to De Soto with the issue of a $500 Federal Reserve Banknote in 1918.  The notes image is based on William H. Powell’s painting, The Discovery of the Mississippi.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing engraved vignette of William H. Powell’s painting Discovery of the Mississippi. Engraving by Frederick Girsch. Scanned from an original impression, part of a Treasury Department presentation album of portraits and vignettes (c. 1902), possibly presented to Lyman Gage.

 

US $500 FRN-1918 Fr-1132d (reverse) – Courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection – National Museum of American History

 

The Discovery of the Mississippi by William H. Powell – Commissioned by the US Congress and placed in the Rotunda of the Capital in 1855.

John Judkyn, along with American, Dallas Pratt, was one of the founders of the American Museum in Britain, located in Claverton Manor, Bath, Somerset BA2 7BD – England, UK.

About Claverton Manor:

House & Family History
Perched on a sublime hilltop site, Claverton Manor is a Regency style stone house of the 1820s designed by Jeffry Wyatville. The site was originally occupied by a manor purchased in 1758 by Ralph Allen, the promoter of Bath stone and a prime developer of the city. It was was at Claverton Manor on July 26, 1897, for the Primrose League, that Winston Churchill delivered his first political speech. Today Claverton is home to the American Museum in Britain. The Museum was founded by two antique collectors, an American, Dallas Pratt (1914-94), and a Briton, John Judkyn (1913-63), and opened to the public for the first time on July 1, 1961. Presented as a series of period rooms, the exhibits cover every period of American history, and are particularly strong in rooms and furnishings from New England. Because John Judkyn was a peace-loving Quaker, the Museum contains no militaria. 
As is often the case, the words of the persons involved in History are oft the most reliable source of information and in this case an obituary written by Dallas Pratt of his friend John Judkyn should serve sufficiently to give the reader an idea of what the American Museum in Britain is all about.

The following  is from an obituary written by Dallas Pratt: 

But first, let us establish that Dallas Pratt was a close friend of John Judkyn.  Pratt was a psychiatrist in his professional life, an animal rights activist, and a founder of the American Museum in Britain.  

Dallas Pratt

The photos of John Judkyn come from an historical photo site of British history, Freshford.com,  to whom I give credit for the following photo.  I have a link to the source site below.

note* – Some sources use the spelling Judkin, rather than Judkyn.    

John Judkyn in the American Museum

Background of John Judkyn

No one in John’s immediate family was or is particularly interested in collecting antiques or objects of art, although the family was affluent for generations through ownership of land in Northamptonshire and of a rich granite quarry, developed under the corporate name of Judkins Limited, in Nuneaton. His mother, nee Florence Cunynghame, was the daughter of a Scottish baronet, and his great-uncle by marriage was the benefactor of Dublin’s National Gallery, Hugh Lane (drowned in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915).

John attended Repton School from 1927~31, but left early because of illness. Recovering he went to live for about a year with Cunynghame relatives in Paris. There his interest in decorative arts first manifested itself. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and worked for a time with the distinguished interior designer, Monsieur Boudin. Returning to London, he worked for several years with Acton, Surgey, of Conduit Street, a firm which specialised in furniture and artefacts of the Gothic and Elizabethan periods, bringing John into contact with such clients as William Randolph Hearst and Sir William Burrell.

Another formative influence in the 1930s was his friend Sir Philip Sassoon. Sassoon was accustomed to stage annual exhibitions, drawn from his collections, at his London Park Lane residence, and John helped with the cataloguing and arranging of several of these. In 1937, John and I met through a mutual American friend, Hugh Chisholm, Jr., in Cambridge, where Hugh was doing post-graduate work. John had not yet visited the U.S. but wanted to, and after we became friends we agreed to share an apartment in New York.

He already had some close friends among Anglo-American families in England: Eshers, Camoys, Lebuses, Gainsboroughs and others. Having secured a job with Stair and Andrew, London dealers specialising in antique 18th century English furniture, he arrived in New York in the fall of 1937 and went to work in their gallery on East 57th St. Before long he had made a contact with the Cooper Hewitt Museum, still in the original premises on Lafayette Ave. and 8th. Street. Among the miscellaneous collections formed by the Misses Hewitt was one of English antique furniture. On the invitation of the Curator, Calvin Hathaway, John, as a volunteer, undertook to “vet’ this collection and prepare an informal catalogue.

While still in England, John had started to form his own first collection of antiques. There were soon enough largely to furnish the residence known as “The Bishop’s House,” at Henley-on-Thames, which he and his mother acquired in the mid 1930s. He also started to deal in a small way, at one time sharing a small shop with Jane (Mrs. Charles) Toller, in St. Christopher’s in London. He began to import antiques to the U.S. in 1938-39, and, leaving Stair and Andrew, arranged for his stock to be shown in space shared with an antique dealer on East 58th ST. After the war, his shipments, now drawn from France, Holland as well as Great Britain, became a flourishing wholesale business under the name “222 Imports”.

He opened a shop on Madison Avenue known as “The Quaker Shop”, succeeded by premises on Second Avenue; he also exhibited at antique shows. Two aspects of 222 Imports had a significant effect on the American Museum-to-be. Since John sold only “To the Trade,” his relationships with American dealers were important and carefully cultivated both by the seller and the buyers. John’s stock was of high quality and scrupulously authentic. More than that, his choice of objects was characterised by “flair” a somewhat mysterious, highly idiosyncratic, aesthetic, even, witty quality much appreciated by dealers who were themselves cultured, sophisticated, and who often, in their advertising, preferred to identify themselves as “antiquarians” rather than “antique dealers.” As a result, when we decided to start acquiring Americana for the museum, an area of collecting in, which neither of us had any previous experience, John sensibly insisted that we should work only with this somewhat rarefied group, whom he had found in his own dealings to be very knowledgeable, and whose insistence on quality and authenticity matched his own. We found that these dealers responded with enthusiasm to our project, and when they acquired objects which they knew we wanted for one of our period rooms, often called us by phone to alert us to their find, giving us a chance to dash off to wherever it was before they offered the item to others.

Another aspect of John’s business had influence on our locating the museum in Bath rather than elsewhere in England. His practice during the first post-war decade was to go to Europe in early spring and to start forming the collection, which would be shipped to the States in September. Pending shipment, it had to be stored in a London Warehouse except for those pieces needing restoration. These were entrusted to an expert London antiques, restorer, C A. (“Nick”) Bell Knight, By the mid-1950s, John decided that it would be both economical and convenient to acquire a house in the West Country which had turned out to be the best source in England for 222 Imports. There the shipments could be assembled and a workshop and living quarters provided for the Bell Knights—Nick having been anxious for some time to move his family out of London.

In 1956,Gordon Chesterman, who lived next door to Freshford Manor, happened to tell two of John’s cousins, Anna and Gertrude Cunynghame, of the dire fate, which had overtaken the Manor. It had been sold, and was to be subjected to a ‘development’ ruinous to the fine old house and to the surrounding village. John heard of it, got in touch with Chesterman, and somehow persuaded the developer to let our company, H.H. Estates buy for £3500 the Manor and a number of surrounding village houses. Our being established there made its vicinity the first choice for the location of the museum-to-be.  Two years later, we found a home for it at Claverton only four miles from Freshford.

JOHN JUDKYN, INTERIOR DESIGNER

The ‘flair’ which John had in forming collections of antiques for sale also manifested itself in the series of houses whose interiors he designed for ourselves, 1942-61. These were, successively, Brandywine Farm, Downingtown, Pennsylvania (1942); 222 East 49th. New York (1946)’; 118 Cheyne Walk, London, (1951).’ 19 Cliveden Place, London (1955); Castello San Peyre, Opio (1955); Freshford Manor (1956); 18 Groom Place, London (1961);. 228 E. 49, N.Y.(1962).

Some hallmarks of John’s style were the following: invariably, antique furniture, but often mixing British, French, Italian or Chinese examples; the wood, fruitwood by- preference, often sun-faded, or painted; the wall colours either white, or bold peach or scarlet- never cream or pastels, sometimes hung with Regency or Directoire wall paper, or covered by Coromandel screens. Then drapes in predominately 17th or 18th century rooms, red or yellow silk damask; in early 19th century rooms , grey or grey- blue silk, or flowered chintz. The architectural woodwork, usually painted olive-green or greyish blue. The paintings, often naive portraits or landscapes.

All, these elements, to which were added a miscellany of antique glass, lamps, china, boxes and leather-bound books, arranged with John’s sure eye for proportion and harmonious color combinations, resulted in interiors which were works of art as well as extremely liveable. Although all the furniture in the series of historical rooms at the Museum was selected jointly by John and myself, its arrangement in those rooms was by John.

Also, when European accessories were required for these rooms such as might have been there originally- e.g. Delftware in the Lee Room, the porcelain garnitures in the Deming and Deer Park Rooms, the carpets in the Greek Revival and Deer Park Rooms- these were chosen and donated by John. Although the wood colors in most of these rooms were either original or when absent copied from contemporary panelling , such as the cedar-graining in the Perley Parlour reproduced from a room in Old Deerfield, two rooms for which the original decoration was unknown reflect the ‘Judkyn style’ : the brilliant red wall-paper in the New Orleans Bedroom and the blue-gray color harmonies of the Deer Park Parlor,. In fact, the latter room, is so characteristic of John`s taste that I endowed it in his memory.

JOHN JUDKYN AND ANGLO-AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING

John used to say, semi-jokingly, that he had been converted to Quakerism by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop was Geoffrey Fisher, Headmaster of Repton School while John was there. John died in an automobile accident in July, 1963, and the following year, writing to a friend who was preparing some biographical notes about John, the Archbishop (by that time retired , with the peerage of Fisher of Lambeth) had this to say: I knew him well but, if I may say so, on the narrow front of casual conversations, while he was at school, and once or twice after he had left. My impression of him is absolutely clear; He won my great affection and my deep respect. I cannot recall much about his parents but he had an elder brother who was a typical public school boy, something of an athlete and with all the somewhat commonplace interests of the ordinary public school boy. John was-quite different where his elder brother was obvious John was original and one could not talk to him without realising at once that the main spring of his life and interest was hidden, as St. Paul says ‘in Christ’, and more obviously hidden too in subtle spiritual and aesthetic enthusiasms.

The latter directed him into his life work of collecting antiques and ultimately founding his wonderful museum, It is less easy to talk about that part of his life, which was hidden in Christ. I have a recollection that he talked to me at one time about ordination: and I think I remember that I told him that his religious experience was too diffuse to befitted into the channel of ordination and clerical ministry. I think any thought of a channel was really uncongenial to him, and the fact that he became a Quaker was really the right thing for him. For the Quakers live in the spirit in a freedom which id unfettered, wherein lies both their strength and their weakness. This is I think the best I can do to indicate how I thought of John Judkyn.

The conversation about ordination took place in the mid 1930s, when Fisher was Bishop of Chester; he became Archbishop in 1945 (and visited us in New York in 1961). As a result of his suggestion, John attended several Quaker meetings in England, then joined the New York Society of Friends in 1939. The Society, having a British origin, has been characterised by close Anglo-American liaison throughout its history, both by intervisitation between Meetings, and through family connections.

There are, for instance, both British and American Cadburys; some of the latter were close friends of ours and neighbours. John enthusiastically entered into strengthening liaison between the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia and Friends House in London.

A conscientious objector, the Service Committee appointed him their representative to the British Friends Relief Council. On Jan. 1 1944, he arrived in England, and later engaged in Quaker Relief work in France after the liberation, working with British, American and French Friends until the summer of 1946 when he returned to New York.

Interestingly, his first venture in helping to organise a museum occurred. in this context when, in response to a request, he found time during the war years to purchase 17th century furniture for the Society of Friends Cumbria, the home of George Fox (1624-91), founder of the Quakers.

In the late 1940s and the 1950s, John carried on his antique business and served on a variety of Quaker committees. He was responsible for securing a house in Turtle Bay Gardens, 247 East 48th.Street, for the American Friends Service Committee, which was and still is, used for conciliation efforts in the United Nations. He headed the committee, which saved the early 19th. Century building of Brooklyn Friends School from destruction. In another effort to promote international understanding, he and I worked with the Committee for Foreign Student Hospitality of Friends Centre in New York, and, once a month, over a period of ten years, gave a Sunday evening dinner-musicale at our house, for 40 to 50 guests, to bring often isolated international students in contact with Americans.

John engaged in another activity to promote international understanding, one more specifically concerned with Anglo-American contacts. he served as a director, for 16 years, on the New York Board of the English Speaking Union. By the late 1950s, John was so much in demand as a committee member that I had the impression, despite his ability for, highly organised, concentrated work that he was feeling the strain. It occurred to me that my idea for an American museum in Britain might be a welcome substitute for all this committee work, making it possible to combine his aesthetic and organisational abilities with his efforts to promote Anglo-American understanding. His immediate and enthusiastic acceptance of the new challenge confirmed my supposition. In the years 1958 to 1961; we were actively engaged in forming the collection for the museum, and, assisted by John’s British secretary, John Wilson, made frequent weekend buying trips in the eastern U.S., and one long trip by train to the west and south. Even before the collection started to take form, there was a brief appearance of Americana a few miles from the as yet unpurchased Claverton Manor. This was in a loan exhibition, Antique Quilts. And Quilting organised by John at Freshford Manor, inI May, 1958, which contained a group of early American quilts. John had persuaded Electra Havemeyer Webb to lend them from the collection she had formed at Shelburne Museum in Vermont.

JOHN JUDKYN: ORGANIZER OF THE FRIENDS OF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM

As soon as the Museum opened in the summer of 1961, plans were underway to recruit “Friends.” John asked Mrs and Mrs John Barry Ryan, two of his co-Directors on the English Speaking Union Board to be his Chairmen. Through Quaker connections in Philadelphia, a Benefit Committee was formed there, Operations commenced in April, 1962, with Helene Walker as Executive Secretary and with an office later in the year at our recently purchased house, 228 East 49th Street. As the attached letter to Mrs. Walker shows, John in the last year of his life was sending out appeal letters and speaking in Boston, New York and elsewhere to recruit Friends. Through this, helped by Ian McCallum`s Spring tour , some 300 Friends had been persuaded to join by the end of 1962.

JOHN JUDKYN’S BEQUESTS

John Judkyn died on July 27, 1963, as the result of an automobile accident in the south of France. His major bequest to the Museum consisted of shares in his family business, Judkins Ltd., a granite quarrying industry. The Museum retained the shares for several years, during which two profitable mergers raised their value to nearly £400,000. He left his American estate to me, and from this I created the John Judkyn Trust, the Income from which must be paid to Halcyon Foundation. The Foundation has donated annually to the American Museum. The value of the Trust (1991) is $140,000 As described in America in Britain, v. 2, No. 1, 1964, p 3, two memorials were established in John`s memory: the John Judkyn Memorial, with staff, offices and workshop at Freshford Manor; endowment (1991) £128,000; and the John Judkyn Music Memorial; endowment (1991) £21,000.

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Reprint from The Pitfalls of Speculation by Thomas Gibson 1906 Ed.

THE PUBLIC ATTITUDE TOWARD SPECULATION

THE public attitude toward speculation is generally hostile. Even those who venture frequently are prone to speak discouragingly of speculative possibilities, and to point warningly to the fact that an overwhelming majority [...] Read more →

Cleaner for Gilt Picture Frames

Cleaner for Gilt Frames.

Calcium hypochlorite…………..7 oz. Sodium bicarbonate……………7 oz. Sodium chloride………………. 2 oz. Distilled water…………………12 oz.

 

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Copper Kills Covid-19 and the Sun is Your Friend

The element copper effectively kills viruses and bacteria.

Therefore it would reason and I will assert and not only assert but lay claim to the patents for copper mesh stints to be inserted in the arteries of patients presenting with severe cases of Covid-19 with a slow release dosage of [...] Read more →

The Flying Saucers are Real by Donald Keyhoe

It was a strange assignment. I picked up the telegram from desk and read it a third time.

NEW YORK, N.Y., MAY 9, 1949

HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATING FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY. FIRST TIP HINTED GIGANTIC HOAX TO COVER UP OFFICIAL SECRET. BELIEVE IT MAY HAVE BEEN PLANTED TO HIDE [...] Read more →

Ought King Leopold to be Hanged?

King Leopold Butcher of the Congo

For the somewhat startling suggestion in the heading of this interview, the missionary interviewed is in no way responsible. The credit of it, or, if you like, the discredit, belongs entirely to the editor of the Review, who, without dogmatism, wishes to pose the question as [...] Read more →

The Preparation of Marketable Vinegar

It is unnecessary to point out that low-grade fruit may often be used to advantage in the preparation of vinegar. This has always been true in the case of apples and may be true with other fruit, especially grapes. The use of grapes for wine making is an outlet which [...] Read more →

Palermo Wine

Take to every quart of water one pound of Malaga raisins, rub and cut the raisins small, and put them to the water, and let them stand ten days, stirring once or twice a day. You may boil the water an hour before you put it to the raisins, and let it [...] Read more →

Furniture Polishing Cream

Furniture Polishing Cream.

Animal oil soap…………………….1 onuce Solution of potassium hydroxide…. .5 ounces Beeswax……………………………1 pound Oil of turpentine…………………..3 pints Water, enough to make……………..5 pints

Dissolve the soap in the lye with the aid of heat; add this solution all at once to the warm solution of the wax in the oil. Beat [...] Read more →

Commercial Fried Fish Cake Recipe

Dried Norwegian Salt Cod

Fried fish cakes are sold rather widely in delicatessens and at prepared food counters of department stores in the Atlantic coastal area. This product has possibilities for other sections of the country.

Ingredients:

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Producing and Harvesting Tobacco Seed

THE FIRST step in producing a satisfactory crop of tobacco is to use good seed that is true to type. The grower often can save his own seed to advantage, if he wants to.

Before topping is done, he should go over the tobacco field carefully to pick [...] Read more →

Abingdon, Berkshire in the Year of 1880

St.Helen’s on the Thames, photo by Momit

 

From a Dictionary of the Thames from Oxford to the Nore. 1880 by Charles Dickens

Abingdon, Berkshire, on the right bank, from London 103 3/4miles, from Oxford 7 3/4 miles. A station on the Great Western Railway, from Paddington 60 miles. The time occupied [...] Read more →

Fortune, Independence, and Competence

THE answer to the question, What is fortune has never been, and probably never will be, satisfactorily made. What may be a fortune for one bears but small proportion to the colossal possessions of another. The scores or hundreds of thousands admired and envied as a fortune in most of our communities [...] Read more →

Artist Methods

Como dome facade – Pliny the Elder – Photo by Wolfgang Sauber

Work in Progress…

THE VARNISHES.

Every substance may be considered as a varnish, which, when applied to the surface of a solid body, gives it a permanent lustre. Drying oil, thickened by exposure to the sun’s heat or [...] Read more →

A History of Fowling – Ravens and Jays

From A History of Fowling, Being an Account of the Many Curios Devices by Which Wild Birds are, or Have Been, Captured in Different Parts of the World by Rev. H.A. MacPherson, M.A.

THE RAVEN (Corvus corax) is generally accredited with a large endowment of mother wit. Its warning [...] Read more →

Some Notes on American Ship Worms

July 9, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 25

Some Notes on American Ship-Worms.

[Read before the American Fishes Congress at Tampa.]

While we wish to preserve and protect most of the products of our waters, these creatures we would gladly obliterate from the realm of living things. For [...] Read more →

The Shirk – An Old but Familiar Phenomena

STORE MANAGEMENT—THE SHIRK.

THE shirk is a well-known specimen of the genus homo. His habitat is offices, stores, business establishments of all kinds. His habits are familiar to us, but a few words on the subject will not be amiss. The shirk usually displays activity when the boss is around, [...] Read more →

The Snipe

THE SNIPE, from the Shooter’s Guide by B. Thomas – 1811

AFTER having given a particular description of the woodcock, it will only. be necessary to observe, that the plumage and shape of the snipe is much the same ; and indeed its habits and manners sets bear a great [...] Read more →

JP Morgan’s Digital Currency Patent Application

J.P. Morgan Patent #8,452,703

Method and system for processing internet payments using the electronic funds transfer network.

Abstract

Embodiments of the invention include a method and system for conducting financial transactions over a payment network. The method may include associating a payment address of an account [...] Read more →

Books of Use to the International Art Collector

Hebborn Piranesi

Before meeting with an untimely death at the hand of an unknown assassin in Rome on January 11th, 1996, master forger Eric Hebborn put down on paper a wealth of knowledge about the art of forgery. In a book published posthumously in 1997, titled The Art Forger’s Handbook, Hebborn suggests [...] Read more →

Country House Christmas Pudding

Country House Christmas Pudding

Ingredients

1 cup Christian Bros Brandy ½ cup Myer’s Dark Rum ½ cup Jim Beam Whiskey 1 cup currants 1 cup sultana raisins 1 cup pitted prunes finely chopped 1 med. apple peeled and grated ½ cup chopped dried apricots ½ cup candied orange peel finely chopped 1 ¼ cup [...] Read more →

The Billesden Coplow Run

*note – Billesdon and Billesden have both been used to name the hunt.

BILLESDEN COPLOW POEM

[From “Reminiscences of the late Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq”]

The run celebrated in the following verses took place on the 24th of February, 1800, when Mr. Meynell hunted Leicestershire, and has since been [...] Read more →

Clover Wine

Add 3 quarts clover blossoms* to 4 quarts of boiling water removed from heat at point of boil. Let stand for three days. At the end of the third day, drain the juice into another container leaving the blossoms. Add three quarts of fresh water and the peel of one lemon to the blossoms [...] Read more →

Tuna and Tarpon

July, 16, l898 Forest and Stream Pg. 48

Tuna and Tarpon.

New York, July 1.—Editor Forest and Stream: If any angler still denies the justice of my claim, as made in my article in your issue of July 2, that “the tuna is the grandest game [...] Read more →

The Racing Knockabout Gosling

The Racing Knockabout Gosling.

Gosling was the winning yacht of 1897 in one of the best racing classes now existing in this country, the Roston knockabout class. The origin of this class dates back about six years, when Carl, a small keel cutter, was built for C. H. [...] Read more →

Fly Casting Instructions

It is a pity that the traditions and literature in praise of fly fishing have unconsciously hampered instead of expanded this graceful, effective sport. Many a sportsman has been anxious to share its joys, but appalled by the rapture of expression in describing its countless thrills and niceties he has been literally [...] Read more →

The Fowling Piece – Part I

THE FOWLING PIECE, from the Shooter’s Guide by B. Thomas – 1811.

I AM perfectly aware that a large volume might be written on this subject; but, as my intention is to give only such information and instruction as is necessary for the sportsman, I shall forbear introducing any extraneous [...] Read more →

Catholic Religious Orders

Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the mendicant Order of Friars Minor, as painted by El Greco.

Catholic religious order

Catholic religious orders are one of two types of religious institutes (‘Religious Institutes’, cf. canons 573–746), the major form of consecrated life in the Roman Catholic Church. They are organizations of laity [...] Read more →

Slaughter in Bombay

From Allen’s Indian Mail, December 3rd, 1851

BOMBAY. MUSULMAN FANATICISM.

On the evening of November 15th, the little village of Mahim was the scene of a murder, perhaps the most determined which has ever stained the annals of Bombay. Three men were massacred in cold blood, in a house used [...] Read more →

List of the 60 Franklin Library Signed Limited Editions

The following highly collectible Franklin Library Signed Editions were published between 1977 and 1982. They are all fully leather bound with beautiful covers and contain gorgeous and rich silk moire endpapers. Signatures are protected by unattached tissue inserts.

The values listed are average prices that were sought by [...] Read more →

On Bernini’s Bust of a Stewart King

As reported in the The Colac Herald on Friday July 17, 1903 Pg. 8 under Art Appreciation as a reprint from the Westminster Gazette

ART APPRECIATION IN THE COMMONS.

The appreciation of art as well as of history which is entertained by the average member of the [...] Read more →

Platform of the American Institute of Banking in 1919

Resolution adapted at the New Orleans Convention of the American Institute of Banking, October 9, 1919:

“Ours is an educational association organized for the benefit of the banking fraternity of the country and within our membership may be found on an equal basis both employees and employers; [...] Read more →

Naval Stores – Distilling Turpentine

Chipping a Turpentine Tree

DISTILLING TURPENTINE One of the Most Important Industries of the State of Georgia Injuring the Magnificent Trees Spirits, Resin, Tar, Pitch, and Crude Turpentine all from the Long Leaved Pine – “Naval Stores” So Called.

Dublin, Ga., May 8. – One of the most important industries [...] Read more →

The Age of Chivalry

KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS

On the decline of the Roman power, about five centuries after Christ, the countries of Northern Europe were left almost destitute of a national government. Numerous chiefs, more or less powerful, held local sway, as far as each could enforce his dominion, and occasionally those [...] Read more →

Sir Peter Francis Bourgeois and the Dulwich Picture Gallery

Noel Desenfans and Sir Francis Bourgeois, circa 1805 by Paul Sandby, watercolour on paper

The Dulwich Picture Gallery was England’s first purpose-built art gallery and considered by some to be England’s first national gallery. Founded by the bequest of Sir Peter Francis Bourgois, dandy, the gallery was built to display his vast [...] Read more →

Curing Diabetes With an Old Malaria Formula

For years in the West African nation of Ghana medicine men have used a root and leaves from a plant called nibima(Cryptolepis sanguinolenta) to kill the Plasmodium parasite transmitted through a female mosquito’s bite that is the root cause of malaria. A thousand miles away in India, a similar(same) plant [...] Read more →

Horn Measurement

Jul. 23, 1898 Forest and Stream, Pg. 65

Horn Measurements.

Editor Forest and Stream: “Record head.” How shamefully this term is being abused, especially in the past three years; or since the giant moose from Alaska made his appearance in public and placed all former records (so far as [...] Read more →

Modern Slow Cookers, A Critical Design Flaw

Modern slow cookers come in all sizes and colors with various bells and whistles, including timers and shut off mechanisms. They also come with a serious design flaw, that being the lack of a proper domed lid.

The first photo below depict a popular model Crock-Pot® sold far and wide [...] Read more →

Blackberry Wine

BLACKBERRY WINE

5 gallons of blackberries 5 pound bag of sugar

Fill a pair of empty five gallon buckets half way with hot soapy water and a ¼ cup of vinegar. Wash thoroughly and rinse.

Fill one bucket with two and one half gallons of blackberries and crush with [...] Read more →

Popular Mechanics Archive

Click here to access the Internet Archive of old Popular Mechanics Magazines – 1902-2016

Click here to view old Popular Mechanics Magazine Covers

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Antibiotic Properties of Jungle Soil

If ever it could be said that there is such a thing as miracle healing soil, Ivan Sanderson said it best in his 1965 book entitled Ivan Sanderson’s Book of Great Jungles.

Sanderson grew up with a natural inclination towards adventure and learning. He hailed from Scotland but spent much [...] Read more →

Sea and River Fishing

An angler with a costly pole Surmounted with a silver reel, Carven in quaint poetic scroll- Jointed and tipped with finest steel— With yellow flies, Whose scarlet eyes And jasper wings are fair to see, Hies to the stream Whose bubbles beam Down murmuring eddies wild and free. And casts the line with sportsman’s [...] Read more →

Historic authenticity of the Spanish SAN FELIPE of 1690

San Felipe Model

Reprinted from FineModelShips.com with the kind permission of Dr. Michael Czytko

The SAN FELIPE is one of the most favoured ships among the ship model builders. The model is elegant, very beautifully designed, and makes a decorative piece of art to be displayed at home or in the [...] Read more →

U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act – Full Text

WIPO HQ Geneva

UNITED STATES PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION ACT

TITLE I – PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION OFFICE Chapter Section 1. Organization and Publications . 1 2. Legal Provisions as to the Plant Variety Protection Office . 21 3. Plant Variety Protection Fees . 31

CHAPTER 1.-ORGANIZATION AND PUBLICATIONS Section [...] Read more →

Why Beauty Matters – Sir Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton – Why Beauty Matters (2009) from Mirza Akdeniz on Vimeo.

Click here for another site on which to view this video.

Sadly, Sir Roger Scruton passed away a few days ago—January 12th, 2020. Heaven has gained a great philosopher.

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A Couple of Classic Tennessee Squirrel Recipes

FRIED SQUIRREL & BISCUIT GRAVY

3-4 Young Squirrels, dressed and cleaned 1 tsp. Morton Salt or to taste 1 tsp. McCormick Black Pepper or to taste 1 Cup Martha White All Purpose Flour 1 Cup Hog Lard – Preferably fresh from hog killing, or barbecue table

Cut up three to [...] Read more →